Wednesday, May 8, 2013

NPR writer: Superheroes are too popular

Writing for, commentator Adam Frank resents the “dominance of comic books in mainstream movie culture;” for him, science-fiction or fantasy fandom has become too easy:
“Part of the joy of being a dork used to be the determined loneliness of one’s science fiction/comic/fantasy compulsions. Back in the day there were only a few other dorks who knew, really knew, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy. You could drop a Hari Seldon reference and get a few sly smiles from your fellow denizen’s of the sci-fi bookstore. 
“You had to work for your dorky cred, poring over back issues of The X-Men and Captain America to get the whole story. Now all it takes is one Google search and the history of Emma Frost rolls out for you like a bunch of oranges from a broken shopping bag.”
My reaction is one of appalled fascination at seeing the embodiment of “microagression” as dissected by Dr. Andrea Letamendi on

Microagressions reinforce stereotypes about who belongs and who does not. Letamendi discussed microagression against women in fandom and here’s Frank directing microagression against, well, everyone who doesn’t meet his standards.

I argued earlier in this blog that Letamendi’s essay is a worthwhile read for its thoughtful perspective. And for what it’s worth, Frank demonstrates through his writing that microagression exists: he is making a pretty clear statement about who belongs in fandom and who does not.

As before, I believe there is too much exclusion in the world; real geeks shouldn’t practice it. Fandom should be an inclusive haven; it should not be an exclusive club.

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